Dog poop is one of many sources of bacteria contributing to pollution in Whatcom County creeks, lakes, and marine waters.
Did you know our county has over 40,000 dogs that create about 30,000 pounds of poop every day? That’s a lot of poop. It’s every dog owner’s responsibility to help manage that waste to help keep our water clean. The good news is it’s easy. Just scoop it, bag it, and trash it!
It may be hard to imagine, especially if you don’t live or walk your dog next to a body of water, but your pet’s poop left on the ground affects our community’s water quality. Rain falling on our roofs, lawns, and streets picks up what it touches as it flows into ditches and storm drains then into our creeks, lakes, and bays. Pollutants like oil from the road, yard chemicals, and pet waste pollute the rainwater. There is no filter or treatment to clean the water. This polluted water can make people, pets, and wildlife sick.
Like human poop, pet poop is raw sewage that contains pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can transmit disease to people. When high levels of poop-related bacteria are found in a body of water, wading, swimming, and shellfish harvesting are restricted because of the risk posed to people’s health.
The best solution to keep water safe from dog poop pollution is simple: Bag it and put it in the trash.
The Whatcom County Pollution Identification Correction (PIC) Program and partners are working on a campaign to bring awareness to this problem. We will be placing temporary signs in select parks from mid-May to mid-June. Additionally, radio ads and social media posts will be circulating. You may even see our friendly faces walking around some of your local parks handing out free poop bag dispensers and baggies. Visit our new website for more information about dog poop and water quality: www.whatcomcounty.us/scooppoop.